Infection strains for teaching lab


I have a student who would like to study bacterial (or viral, I suppose) pathogenesis in C. elegans, but it looks like Pseudomonas PA14 is Biosafety Level 2, and might not be great for use in a teaching with diverse traffic. Any other options we can consider?


What about some of the natural C. elegans pathogens, like the ones on which Jonathan Hodgkin’s group has been working? ie. M. nematophlilum or Leucobacter species

P.S. Two other pathogens that just leapt to mind are D. coniospora (fungal pathogen, studied by the Ewbank lab) and the microsporidian pathogen N. parisii (studied by the Troemmel lab).


Culturing Drechmeria can be a bit tricky (e.g. you can’t get rid of fungal contamination easily), so I’d recommend Serratia marcescens.

It’s a Level I pathogen.

We’ve deposited 3 strains at the CGC (Db10, its streptomycin resistant derivative Db11, and the attenuated Db1140).

See and

It doesn’t kill as quickly as PA14, but it is easy to grow and the symptoms of infection are readily visible.

And the Db11 genome has been sequenced and annotated (

Hope that helps


Thanks for all your help!!! Sounds great!